7 Essential Skills for Commercial Property Managers

In commercial property management today the skills and tasks required of the individual manager are quite specific and advanced. This then says that only the best people should be employed for the properties to be managed.

There are major differences between the property management requirements of an industrial shed verses a complex office property or retail shopping centre. Whilst there are always learning curves for managers as they move through the industry, their skills should not be mismatched or over estimated when it comes to particular properties and particular clients.

Education and skill development are really important career elements so that the manager can progress up through the industry with better clients and higher quality properties.

Here are some of the critical skills that apply to the commercial and retail property management industry and the people working in it.

  1. When you work with large and complex properties, it is likely that the paperwork and the lease management issues will be demanding. Good documentation skills and recording processes will be required.
  2. The tenants within the property require control and optimisation. A good knowledge of tenant mix optimisation and tenant retention will be a real advantage. It should be noted that a retail property and particularly a shopping centre will be more demanding when it comes to tenancy control and lease negotiation.
  3. Leasing challenges will come and go as part of the role. This then says that the manager should understand the complexities of rental structure, lease terms and conditions, tenancy placement, and lease negotiation.
  4. The landlord reporting requirements today are quite advanced. On a regular basis, the manager will be required to report trends and opportunities with the rental structures, lease strategies, building expenses, and cash flows.
  5. Maintenance activities will vary based on property type, location, and building age. That being the case, the manager will need to understand risk factors, maintenance obligations, and contractor controls. During an average financial or business year, many maintenance challenges will arise requiring decision and direction. Compliance to building codes will be part of that process.
  6. The tenants within a property provide stability to the income base and rental structure. So there is a need here to stabilise the tenant or tenants in occupancy for the greater value that it brings to the property. Good communication skills and the ability to handle challenging tenants will be an advantage.
  7. Financial analysis will be part of the services provided. Most commercial and retail property managers today have good skills when it comes to income optimisation, expenditure controls, and capitalisation. Most managers will be using some form of a computer based property performance software package. A hands on approach will be required to analyse and capture financial data from the property.

These skills can be learned over time and developed providing the right support and training opportunities are available.

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